Arms Control

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A quest for transparency in arms exports: The Berlin administrative court’s stance on exports of arms to Israel

In May 2024, a German Berlin-based NGO, the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), the Gazan based Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) and the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, as well as the Ramallah-based Palestinian human rights organization Al Haq and five Palestinian individuals from Gaza brought a case against the German government in an effort halt arms exports to Israel in light of the ongoing humanitarian plight in Gaza. The remedies sought included a request for provisional measures for ongoing and future as well as a request for judicial review for past exports since November 2023. This is yet another effort to cease arms exports to Israel after Nicaragua’s failure before the International Court of Justice and a similar but different case in the Netherlands concerning the shipment of F-35 Parts. On June 10 2024, the Berlin Administrative Court (‘Verwaltungsgericht’) has rendered its decision to not provisionally prohibit the issuing of future export licenses for weapons to Israel (Order of 10th June 2024, Az. VG…

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Common Article 1 Does Prohibit Complicity in IHL Violations, Through Arms Transfers or Otherwise

Last week, over on Articles of War, I read with great interest a post on Common Article 1 (CA1) of the Geneva Conventions by my good friends Mike Schmitt and Sean Watts. Their post, building on their prior work, argues that CA1 should not be understood as having any external dimension. It…

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Caught in a Geopolitical Crossfire: Questioning the Legality of US-Imposed Export Controls on Dutch Computer Chip Machines

For years now, the US has lobbied with the Dutch government to institute controls on the export to China of chipmaking machines produced by ASML, Europe’s most valuable tech company. In 2019, Washington effectively pushed the Netherlands to prevent the export of one of ASML’s most advanced “Extreme Ultraviolet” (EUV) lithography machines to China. And…

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The Death of Nuclear Arms Control Treaties

A generational crisis in international nuclear arms control law was already looming when, on February 21, 2023, Vladimir Putin announced that Russia would suspend its participation in the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START).  New START, a bilateral nuclear arms control treaty between Russia and the U.S., was already scheduled to terminate by its terms…

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On the ‘Suspension’ of the New START Treaty by Russia

On 21 February 2023, the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, announced to the Federal Assembly that Russia would suspend the Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (the ‘New START Treaty’, signed on 8 April 2010…

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